LTAD Learn to Train Girls 8 -11. Boys 9 – 12 years

Learn to TRAIN


(Girls 8 to 11 years. Boys 9 to 12 years)

If you experienced it as a parent or saw it over several years through the swimming club, you will have a view on how boys and girls differ and the quite different growth spurts they go through, both physically and mentally.

Personally I’d teach boys separately from the girls ’til they are 15 or 16 – not achievable though.

Don’t you find you have a class splits down the middle where there are equal numbers of girls and boys? And how a boy on his own in a group of girls might not last long? If we’re going to address the problem of so few boys being attracted to or staying in the sport, then clubs should get their heads around the gender differences.

In our club this learn to train phase is at the top end of teaching groups, say grades 7 to 10 (here treating Mini Squad as a teaching level).

Whilst we promote on merit, skills and times being achieved, meeting the entry requirements for squads, if not training groups, we ought to be more conscious of the need to get competent girls out of teaching as they reach 11, while with boys we could run for another year.

Mini Squad at present has girls and boys 8-12 and splits into two distinct groups. To achieve our long-term goals to gain Swim21 Competitive Development Status we need more coming in age 8 (girls), age 9 (boys) so that they are ready to compete for in the age 9 category.  This in turn means bringing them through teaching stages faster, but with not less efficiency. This can only be achieved is the more committed swimmers a) start younger – age 7 into the club; b) swim more often – twice a week initially and three times a week+ from age 8/9; c) talent spotting to fast track skills and stamina into skills groups at both pools.


At this stage young athletes show no fear but lack the skill level so accidents can occur. They are extremely active, but they still need to rest. As ligament growth is not yet complete they still cannot withstand too much stress.


They show short attention spans and enjoy repetition of fun activities They are eager to learn.


They are sensitive to criticism and need oodles of positive feedback. They are eager to please the coach and are prone to sneak on each other are cliquish & competitive!


Positive feedback

Swimming drills are repetitive anyway, so try to make them fun with constant variety.

Use their eagerness to learn, a few minutes on the side of the pool every week and they can quickly pick up all kinds of valuable lessons.



G7 Time Trials & T1 & T2 Coaching

G7 Time Trials & T1 & T2 Coaching

(all names changed)

Arrived in good time only to find Jason (Level I) in there. I questioned Mick about what role I can play as a Level II going on Level III coach and he didn’t seem to know. I ended up helping time kids on their 25m time trials. Like any organisation the club needs to work out how it deals with integrating the workforce; if and when I make it to an ASA/UKCC Senior Club Coach then what?

For Swim21 +13 helpers, teachers & coach supervising the 44 swimmers in 8 lanes. Need names, Code of Ethics signed and evidence of qualifications & CRB check. + Pool Plan.

Two lanes for 45 mins. Grade 7 (or 9)

All on the BS this week (or time trials). I had this worked out, but they did trials instead.

Warm Up 200m

1 x 50m FC Head Up + Float on head
1 x 50m BC Slomo
1 x 50m As 25m Kick, 25m half sprint
1 x 50m As 25m Kick, 25m half sprint
Practise dive, glide & kick into stroke

TIME TRIALS (Flexibility, not stretching)

BS BIAS: 350m

3 kicks, one pull
Catch up
One arm, one leg
Competitive start


Underwater through a hoop or for sinkers.


Topple & Jump
Topple & Dive into GLIDE
Topple & Dive into GLIDE + Dolphin Kick
Topple & Dive into One Dolphin Flick, GLIDE then Dolphin Kick

Then into T1 & T2

Lane 6 pressed on with it at a good pace
Lane 5 were reasonably engaged
Lane 4 took inordinately long rests.

T2 had two lanes


To improve aerobic capacity, with more intensive work on BR


As 1 x 200m FC, BC, FC Chicken Wing (CW), BC Roll (Shoulder Roll to 90 degrees),

Kick Your Choice (YC) and a 1 x 200m IM.

Heart rate at -30 off Max. Rest ® 15 seconds.

4×50 BR 2 FC Fast Pace from dead start into turn @1:30

8X75 B/S into FC B/S

3 Kicks

1 arm pull @ 50 FS 50 Drill 50 FS @1:30

Relay of:

1 x 50 BC

1 x 50 BR

1 x 25 FC

1 x 25 UW Dolphin

Swim Down -30 of Max HRT 1 x 250 YC

TOTAL SWIM 2500m in 60 Mins

Did the above as written. They didn’t do the dead starts, going for the dive instead. I may have reduced the 8×75 to 4 and they finished on the relays without the swimdown.

They enjoy these competitive bursts.

I used this as a chance to follow them up and down the pool shouting encouragement. Next thing, I need to get their names. It’s hard to do a register at the start with so many of them. They were keen to know if I was there Coach now and glad to learn that I would be.

John came over to help

Afterwards I dropped into the AGM and made a contribution from the floor adding the word ‘coaching’ to the mission statement that was prepared.